Drip-Free Pita Bread?! Israeli Pastry Virtuoso Spends 7 Years Perfecting The Pita
Best thing since sliced bread? If you’ve ever had the traditional Israeli falafel pita, then you’re probably familiar with its main drawback – leakage. Since it is usually consumed with fresh vegetable salad and tahini, at a certain stage, the pita can no longer contain its content and starts to leak.
Israeli pastry-chef and entrepreneur Shimmy Seren spent seven years perfecting his special bread cylinder, dubbed the “Feeli,” to make sure everyone can enjoy their food – without dirtying their pants in the process.
“If you want a perfect product, with no shortcuts, seven years is a good amount of time to spend,” Seren tells NoCamels. “We tried many different types of dough and various versions of the baking machine.” The machine Seren created takes what looks like a plain ball of dough, and within 90 seconds, transforms it into a cylindrical bread “cup.” Seren then stuffs the cup with an assortment of fillings, depending on the menu served.
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“You need to constantly perfect the machine and then you need to simplify it, so that anyone can operate it,” Seren tells NoCamels. “My luck was that I had a bakery at the time, so I could constantly experiment, until I got the perfect product.”
Feeli’s breakfast menu offers smoked scrambled eggs or fresh fruit with mascarpone cheese, for lunch they offer shawarma (a traditional middle-eastern rotisserie-turkey sandwich), roast-beef or meatballs and for dinner, chorizos, asado or a vegan alternative (Seren promises the dough contains no eggs or dairy products). The late-night menu features smaller versions of the dinner menu.
Not for sale
The restaurant, also called Feeli, is located on Nachlat Binyamin street, in the heart of Tel Aviv. The sandwiches range from NIS 13 to 36 ($3.7 to $10.3) and are served alongside coffee in the morning or iced tea or beer on tap for lunch and dinner. The restaurant can seat 30 people, but considering it is a fast food, Seren hopes to serve a lot more people. “Our bread bakes in 90 to 110 seconds,” he tells NoCamels and explains that they have six machines the can each bake two pieces of bread at once. “We can produce up to 160 units an hour,” he proudly says.
Although only recently opened, Seren and his two business partners, Elinor Praizler and Michael Halfon, have great plans for the future: “We want to create street food that is sold nation-wide and we also hope to expand overseas,” he tells NoCamels.
Seren is convinced his idea will succeed, but he says, he’s not interested to share his invention. “Just today I had two shawarma places call me, asking for my bread,” he tells NoCamels, “but I’m not ready to share my secret.”